Harry here. Bluetooth headsets make it easy to handle passenger and delivery phone calls, but finding the right Bluetooth headset can be challenging (not to mention expensive). That’s why we had Jon Knope review several different headsets for us – and keep reading for a giveaway below!
Bluetooth headsets are basically magic – no tangled wires, no cable-jostling noises, and no need for a headphone jack (looking at you, iPhone 7). They’re also a pretty handy accessory for rideshare drivers, so we decided to review a few – and give them away! Enter to win a pair using the widget below.
A Bluetooth headset makes it easy to deal with phone calls to passengers or delivery customers on the road. Rather than fumbling to get your phone off your phone mount, a set of wireless headphones allows you to handle calls mostly (or entirely) hands-free.
And if you prefer to listen to the soothing voice of your GPS app while you drive, a headset lets you do so without annoying your passengers in the back seat. As long as you’ve got one ear open to listen for emergency vehicles, car horns, and whatever else might be going on, you could even listen to audiobooks – or The Rideshare Guy Podcast (iTunes | Android | RSS).
Isn’t it illegal to drive with headphones on?
In a few states, yes. Colorado, Louisiana, Maryland, and Rhode Island banned them outright. In most other states, driving with a headset is either not regulated, or it’s only a problem if you’ve got both ears occupied. Many states have exemptions for hands-free cellular devices like a Bluetooth headset – just so long as you’ve got one ear free at all times. The map below is from Lifehacker – give it a click for more info.
Which Bluetooth headset is right for me?
There’s a dizzying array of choices out there. We picked four and gave them a review. (These are affiliate links, so we do make a small commission to help keep the site running – but it doesn’t cost you anything extra!)
Masentek H26 – $18.99, Amazon.com
Although you probably won’t want to listen to music in one ear all the time, this classic Bluetooth headset is perfect for taking calls from the road, getting directions, or even listening to podcasts or audiobooks. For your $18, you’ll also get an extra rubber earpiece, a standard micro USB charging cable, and an optional hook that goes around your ear for additional stability.
What I like about this one is that it’s incredibly comfortable and lightweight. You’re likely to forget it’s even there. It charges in an hour, and the battery will last for about 5 hours of continuous use – or 160 hours of standby time.
The only issue I had with this one was call quality. People I spoke with could understand me pretty well, but they all noted that the call clarity wasn’t ideal. It also doesn’t do a great job at filtering out background noise. My conversation partner gave it a 6 out of 10 for call quality overall. Since this device is mainly for talking on the phone, that could be a drawback – but for under $20, it’s still a pretty good deal. Click here to check out this headset on Amazon.
TaoTronics – $32.99, Amazon.com
I was a bit skeptical about this earpiece design at first, but it’s actually both sturdy and comfortable. These headphones are magnetic at the back, so you can wear them like a necklace when you’re not using them.
The microphone is incorporated into the cord, rather than one of the earpieces, which really helps with phone calls. People I spoke with gave this model an 8 out of 10 on voice clarity. It also does a pretty good job of picking up your voice in noisy environments. It charges in under two hours, and you’ll get about 7 hours of talk time and 175 hours on standby.
Wearing one of these at a time works fine – they’re not very heavy, so just using one isn’t a problem. They’re also sweat-resistant if you plan on taking them to your next workout.
As far as sound quality – I’m no audiophile, but these sound fantastic. They give my full-size, over-the-ear headphones a serious run for their money. Good midrange, good bass, and clear highs. Headphones have come a long way since the days of those terrible earbuds that came with iPods.
A few drawbacks – the cord is very thin on these, which makes them seem more delicate than they really are. And, although they’re not advertised as noise-cancelling headphones, they feel like they are. Talking with both headphones in is… weird. It’s hard to explain, but they definitely muffle outside noise, and after a while, your ears kind of start to feel like they’re in a vacuum. That may be a pro for some folks, but I was kind of iffy about it. Nonetheless, these are still a great value for the money. Check out these headphones on Amazon for more info.
Canbor – $35.99, Amazon.com
Much like the last model, these headphones also sound fantastic. I tried every kind of music I could think of, and these headphones reproduced it all with stunning clarity and definition.
This model offers a slightly longer battery life, boasting 8 hours of continuous talk time.
I really wish the hooks were adjustable, because they’re a bit too big for my ears. Maybe I just have small ears. Despite that, they’re still perfectly comfortable, and don’t seem likely to fall out, even when using only one of the earpieces. The earpiece itself is quite comfortable too, and three sizes of rubber earpiece are included.
These headphones come with a year-long warranty too, which is nice to have. They’re also sweat-resistant if you plan on taking them to your next workout.
The main issue with these is call quality. The microphone is located on one of the earbuds, so it’s not super close to your mouth when you’re talking. The call quality on these got a 6 out of 10 from people I spoke with on the phone. And, although it’s beefier than the cord on the TaoTronics headphones, this cord has a slightly annoying tendency to hold its shape. That’s the price one pays for sweat resistance, I suppose. As a lazy person, I would have preferred a braided cable and a better mic – but these still offer plenty of bang for your buck. Click to check them out on Amazon.
Mpow Jaws V4.1 – $24.89, Amazon.com
I tried hard to find fault with the sound quality on these, but like the other headphones I tried above, these also sound excellent. Every type of music I tried came through crystal-clear.
The flexible neckband make these perfect for just using one earbud at a time in the car. The earbuds are also magnetic, so it’s easy to return them to the neckband when you’re not using them. Again, my main complaint is with the cord – it’s frighteningly thin on these, and there isn’t really a storage method for it, so it’s always kind of flopping around.
Although the neckband is really light, it does manage to fit a substantially larger battery than the other models – this one boasts 13 hours of battery life, or 350 hours on standby. Plenty for those long shifts towards the end of the week while you’re chasing down that power driver bonus.
Another benefit to this model is that you do get some extra buttons – it includes a skip and rewind button so you can control the music in addition to the volume.
The call quality on these was great, getting an 8 out of 10 in our test. The microphone is located towards the end of the neckband, making it a good choice for noisy environments like your car. You can find these headphones on Amazon here.
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Drivers: Do you use a Bluetooth headset in the car? Love it or hate it? Let us know in the comments!
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-Jon @ RSG